State and National News

Complaints about Louisiana's roads and bridges are usually loudest in the places where drivers find themselves sitting in stand-still traffic. But those infrastructure concerns don't stop in the cities. The state's aging system of roads and bridges is putting a pinch on Louisiana’s largest industry — agriculture. 

The Department of Labor has a new rule it wants to get on the books that would change the way restaurants treat tips. It's called the tip-pooling rule, and would let workers in the back of the house, like dishwashers and prep cooks, share the tips made by the servers in the front of the house. It would also give employers the right to decide how to distribute those tips. Right now, the rule is in its public comment period, when the public gets to weigh in.

In suburbs just outside the city of Chicago, some police officers are paid fast-food wages; they work part-time patrolling high crime areas, just so they can use their badge to get better paying security jobs.

Many police chiefs say the low-wages and part-time positions are consequences of inadequate funding. That means departments can't pay for ongoing training, can't afford to fire problem officers and don't have the capacity to investigate police shootings.

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Will dysfunction in DC give our NAFTA partners an edge?

3 hours ago

The next round of negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement officially begins tomorrow in Montreal. It's the sixth of seven rounds, and the stakes are high. Now that the government is back open, the United States will have a full roster of negotiators at the talks. They'll be trying once again to hammer out a trade deal that President Donald Trump has been threatening to abandon from the start. It's no secret that there hasn't been much artful dealmaking in Washington lately, and the president has shown himself as willing as ever to change his position.

President Donald Trump has backed proposals to cut legal immigration by up to half. For companies that employ many immigrants, that could mean it will be harder for them to find workers to fill jobs, especially as the economy nears full employment. 

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A German nurse serving a life sentence for murdering two patients is suspected of killing another 97 people by lethal injection.

If convicted, Niels Högel would become Germany's most deadly serial killer ever.

Högel, now 41, was charged with 97 further counts of murder on Monday. His third trial in the northern city of Oldenburg, Germany, is expected to start later this year, according to Reuters.

After another shutdown, she's changing her definition of uncertainty

4 hours ago

When the federal government shuts down, business changes for government contractors, like the Delaware Steel Co. Lisa Goldenberg, the president of Delaware Steel Co. in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania, says a shutdown can cause uncertainty, but the old "businesses hate uncertainty" adage may not apply anymore. 

"We're kind of getting used to uncertainty," Goldenberg said. "We're tolerating uncertainty a lot more, which is healthy in a lot of ways, but it's kind of a new normal."

Vice President Pence says the United States will open an embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019 — much more quickly than initially promised.

Pence announced the new timetable in a speech before the Knesset, Israel's parliament, drawing a standing ovation from Israeli lawmakers and accelerating one of the Trump administration's most contentious foreign policy decisions to date.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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